An emerging electronic revolution, known as eHealth, is poised to empower patients to take a more proactive role in managing their health.
As an example, Continuum Medical Care, a private clinic in West Vancouver, offers a service called Health eGateway, an online portal where patients sign-in to access their medical history, verify appointments and view prescriptions.
Health eGateway, for instance, allows patients to check their results (say, blood-sugars or cholesterol levels) after a test to see how the numbers compare to previous results.
If the latest numbers are higher, the patients would make appropriate changes to their health habits (improve diet and increase exercise).
In B.C., two digital systems are emerging: electronic medical records, used by family physicians, and electronic health records, province-wide databases for lab-test results, drug histories and diagnostic images.
The systems, however, aren’t fully linked, making it difficult for the healthcare system to share patient information among different providers.
But Health eGateway shifts the responsibility onto the patient, making them the gatekeepers of their information.
In a similar fashion, patients whose doctors keep paper records (still the standard format) can become proactive in managing their healthcare by securing a copy of their medical file.
A retiring or relocating physician, or the estate of a physician, may place the practice’s medical records with RSRS, one of Canada’s largest repositories of medical records. RSRS manages the secure transfer of records to patients, new physicians and authorized third parties.
By securing a copy of your medical history, you can…
- Eliminate the need for duplicate tests;
- Correct any errors that are present in your record
- Quickly provide your health information to any physician, clinic or hospital, during a regular visit or in an emergency